New evaluation of thermal neutron scattering libraries for light and heavy water
1 Neutron Physics Department, Centro Atomico Bariloche, Argentina
2 Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas, Argentina
3 Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, Canada
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 13 September 2017
In order to improve the design and safety of thermal nuclear reactors and for verification of criticality safety conditions on systems with significant amount of fissile materials and water, it is necessary to perform high-precision neutron transport calculations and estimate uncertainties of the results. These calculations are based on neutron interaction data distributed in evaluated nuclear data libraries. To improve the evaluations of thermal scattering sub-libraries, we developed a set of thermal neutron scattering cross sections (scattering kernels) for hydrogen bound in light water, and deuterium and oxygen bound in heavy water, in the ENDF-6 format from room temperature up to the critical temperatures of molecular liquids. The new evaluations were generated and processable with NJOY99 and also with NJOY-2012 with minor modifications (updates), and with the new version of NJOY-2016. The new TSL libraries are based on molecular dynamics simulations with GROMACS and recent experimental data, and result in an improvement of the calculation of single neutron scattering quantities. In this work, we discuss the importance of taking into account self-diffusion in liquids to accurately describe the neutron scattering at low neutron energies (quasi-elastic peak problem). To improve modeling of heavy water, it is important to take into account temperature-dependent static structure factors and apply Sköld approximation to the coherent inelastic components of the scattering matrix. The usage of the new set of scattering matrices and cross-sections improves the calculation of thermal critical systems moderated and/or reflected with light/heavy water obtained from the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP) handbook. For example, the use of the new thermal scattering library for heavy water, combined with the ROSFOND-2010 evaluation of the cross sections for deuterium, results in an improvement of the C/E ratio in 48 out of 65 international benchmark cases calculated with the Monte Carlo code MCNP5, in comparison with the existing library based on the ENDF/B-VII.0 evaluation.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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